Estate agency ‘first’ as gay couple launch firm in Yorkshire

Steven and James Child believe they are the first married gay couple to launch an estate agency in the UK.

mr and mr child estate agency

Two men with long careers behind them in the property industry are claiming to be the first openly gay married couple to launch an estate agency in the UK.

James and Steven Child, who met in 2018, were engaged a year later, married in 2022 and who also have a son, have now launched an off-the-high-street estate agency covering two markets – Otley and Harrogate in West Yorkshire after setting up the boutique agency in May.

James Child, 40, who has a BSC in Estate Management and a RICS registered valuer and chartered surveyor with 20 years’ experience is also well-known to rugby fans.

Until his retirement after the 2022 World Cup he was a rugby league and super league referee and commentator. Steven, has worked in marketing until now in Leeds and is described as the firm’s creative brains.

“When we decided to take the plunge to launch our own company, estate agency was the obvious choice,” he tells The Yorkshire Post.


This follows James’s experience selling his own home off-market after being “unimpressed” with the initial efforts of an unnamed estate agent tasked with selling the property.

“So we took charge of the sale ourselves,” added James. “We did everything from the valuation, staging, styling, photography, description and even negotiating the offers.

“It was these experiences that taught us that we could provide a different form of estate agency.”

Following this experience the couple have now launched their own nine-step marketing formula along with a styling and staging service for clients, who they say are the vendors of unique properties from “quaint cottages to grand estates”.

“There’s no minimum value required, we simply seek properties that excite us. If it inspires us, we’re confident it will inspire our buyers too,” adds James.

He and Steven are not the first to use their relationships as a marketing tool, the best-known of which is Mr and Mrs Clarke, which was bought by Belvoir two years ago.

One Comment

  1. Congrats gents and good luck. Friends of mine Bill & Ian set up Laing-Bennett in Lyminge, Kent 15 years ago as a married, gay couple. I think they beat you too the ‘first’ in 2009 but a great achievement non the less and good to see another strong looking independent open their doors.

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